Myanmar Yangon MuslimYangon Myanmar Muslim
In May, two madrasahs were closed in Myanmar's largest city, Yangon.
Muslim free zones" are on the up: in Myanmar: A BHRN
During the years prior to yesterday's statement by UN Head of Humankind Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein that the Myanmar military's action in Rakhine State was a "human cleansing" of Rohingya Muslims, Myanmar's other Muslim societies have experienced a slow eras of the same trial. Since the Rakhine State unrest in 2012, during which municipal force between Muslims and Buddhists demanded the life of more than 80 and more than 90,000 were driven out, a Burma Humane rights network (BHRN) released a statement claiming that the number of self-proclaimed "Muslim-free" Myanmar settlements has increased.
"At a recent Bangkok launch, Kyaw Win, CEO and founding member of Bangkok's National Council, said: "BHRN has recorded the presence of at least 21 communities across the nation where local people, with the approval of the government, have posted signs to warn Muslims not to infiltrate. Prior to 2012, there were a number of cities in Myanmar with formal constraints for Muslims, namely in Rakhine State and Kayin State, but according to the NHRN analyses, the number has increased across the whole nation in reaction to stories that pose a Muslim menace.
"The expulsion of Muslims from Buddha Schools seems to be driven by the awareness that the Muslim population, both in the whole countryside and in hyperlocal environments, is watering down the power of Buddhism and is therefore threat. Those communities have become emblematic strongholds of buddhistic purity," he concluded.
Together with his analyses, the account contains photographs of tens of signs and documentation that declare the Muslims' communities taboo. Some of the signs have the following restrictions: Muslims are called Muslims the Calar - a disputed notion used by some ultra-nationalists to indicate that Muslims are alien to Myanmar.
BHRN says these "Muslim-free villages" are part of a broader tendency of systemically persecuting Muslims in Myanmar that is not limited to the Rakhine state and affects both Rohingyas and non-Rohingyas. This documentary evidence includes cases where damaging or destroying religious sites prevents reconstruction, and allegations of violent rapes and murders by masses of Buddhists trying to scare Muslims in church.
Whereas the activity of anti-Muslim groups such as Ma Ba Tha has been less common since the National League for Democracy took office in 2015, the BHRN reports argue that these more subtle, institu-tional repressive measures against Myanmar's Muslims have been approved by the state.